This never gets old. And it is always exciting.
I was contacted by a fine fellow, Kush, who wanted me to photograph his proposal to his lovely Swata. He even had the spot picked out - the bridge over Worlds Fair Park, in Knoxville, where they had their first date.
Understandably, he was nervous. Would she think something was up? Granted, it is easier for me to appear unremarkable when proposals take place in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. After all, what's another tourist with a camera, right? But in a setting like Worlds Fair Park, it is a little different.
And so, a ruse - I recruited my 17-year-old, son, Patrick, to be a decoy. Made him put on a collared shirt. Because what can be more innocent than a senior shoot?
So, following the plan, Kush came strolling up with Swata, then casually asked if I was doing senior pictures. He then asked if I would take his picture with Swata. Sure. I did. I then expected him to start the proposal.
And I waited.
It seems Kush had a speech prepared to deliver to his lady love before he got down to business. But, as Diana Ross and The Supremes sang, you can't hurry love. And then THE MOMENT happened.
And, of course, as every love story should have a happy ending . . . she said yes.
I remember once a co-worker, back when I worked in IT, describing how he felt when he proposed to his wife. Not just excitement but just a feeling of having his future open up before him and how bright it would be, as well as feeling he had truly reached the maturity of manhood. While "things" about weddings usually revolve around the bride, I think it is a wonderful thing for the groom to remember a time like this and that moment when he experiences that milestone in his life.
After a proposal, I always do a small session with the couple, so that they have pictures of themselves as newly engaged. It's a new status, you know - fiances, no longer "just" girlfriend and boyfriend.
As I have said before, it is a great thing to think that this couple's children, maybe even grandchildren, maybe even generations beyond that will be able to see how their family got started: when he said, "Will you?" and she answered, "Yes."
Congratulations, Swate and Kush!